Working for a company focused on green chemistry innovation provides the opportunity to develop a broad range of interesting applications. As with any development effort however finalizing and launching a product that is both environmentally friendly and commercially successful involves a fair amount of work and luck. We were very pleased with the recent development effort and launch of a product that is an exception to the rule. We perceived a market need for a high performance hydrocarbon storage tank cleaning product that would be neutral PH, contain no toxic compounds or vapors which present a risk for personnel performing tank cleaning and would result in wastewater with low aquatic toxicity which can be recycled into the tank cleaning operation.
VeruTEK was able to apply a focused team effort and expertise with surfactants and solvents to tackle the problem and quickly develop a product which performed as we had hoped. Customer feedback indicates we have developed a cost competitive product which meets their tank cleaning efficacy needs while improving wastewater quality. Wastewater from the process has met regulatory objectives as defined in a Texas wastewater discharge permit .
The end-to-end process of market analysis through product launch and customer feedback went the way we all hope every product development lifecycle will. It was fun for all of us to be a part of and rewarding to be successful in the marketplace.
CEO, VeruTEK Technologies
While remediation conferences can be very informative with a broad range of topics from well qualified speakers, when field trips are added to the agenda they add a very useful dimension (beyond just getting out of the conference venue). At the recent AquaConSoil 2013 conference in Barcelona over fifty attendees from the 2013 Aquaconsoil soil and groundwater conference attended a field trip to observe the Surfactant enhanced In Situ Chemical Oxidation (S-ISCO) injection set up at a former chemical manufacturing site nearby.
S-ISCO was the only technology capable of addressing the deep NAPL phase contamination at the challenging tidally influenced site in a short timeframe. VeruSOL effectively solubilized the DNAPL contamination allowing the Klozur® persulfate product to destroy over 97% of the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) located in most monitoring wells, and 81% of overall contamination in just 3 months.
Before remediation CCl4 DNAPL contamination prevented the lease transfer to a local bus company. While groundwater monitoring is ongoing the engineering consultant is optimistic that remediation objectives have been achieved.
The field trip began with a short presentation outlining the unique approach which was designed to overcome the high soil oxidant demand, chloride levels and deep layers of contamination through aggressive dosing and integration of the VeruSOL surfactant system.
Following the presentation the tour proceeded to the site itself where the mixing tanks and injection systems could be observed. Representatives from technology providers FMC Environmental Solutions and VeruTEK Technologies as well as the engineering consultant Tubkal were on hand to answer technical questions.
Effective treatment of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) with chemical oxidation can be challenging due to the poor solubility of hydrophobic contaminants with groundwater. Hydrophobic molecules arrange themselves to limit the surface area exposed to water as much as possible or in simpler terms, the contaminants configure themselves to avoid contact with water and subsequently oxidation chemistry injected with water into the subsurface. The illustration to the left depicts the oil water interface in the absence of surfactants; the oil is largely continuous arranged to limit contact with the water phase
In this scenario contact between water and hydrophobic contamination is limited so free radicals in the aqueous phase/groundwater make limited contact with NAPL layers during chemical oxidation and destruction is minimal.
Surfactants overcome this barrier by increasing the area of the interface between NAPL and groundwater when they form emulsions. Surfactants are amphiphillic molecules that are drawn to the oil water interface; the head group of the surfactant molecule remains in the water phase while the hydrophobic tail resides in the oil phase.
Because of their amphiphillic structure when surfactant molecules are introduced to oil in water system (A) an emulsion forms consisting of nano-sized droplets of NAPL surrounded by surfactant molecules suspended in a stable dispersion (B). The surfactant tails surround the oil droplet while the head groups face outward. The head groups are repelled from each other preventing agglomeration of the micelles, leading to a stable suspension.
By changing the interface between non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) and groundwater from one of limited contact to a system with enhanced contact surfactants allow free radicals greater access to NAPL, facilitating destruction.
The diagram below demonstrates the dramatic increase in surface area contact that can be achieved as NAPL droplets enter the micrometer size range during emulsification;
Clearly reducing the size of NAPL droplets enhances the exposure of NAPL to free radical oxidants, but has this theoretical advantage played out in field work?
In fact the use of surfactants in chemical oxidation known as Surfactant enhanced In Situ Chemical Oxidation or S-ISCO has destroyed NAPL at sites where previous treatments with chemical oxidants alone has not been able to effectively address the contamination.
Groundwater sampling during S-ISCO treatment provides visual documentation of the process in action; the photo to the right shows groundwater samples retrieved during S-ISCO implementation. The first vial on the left was retrieved at the start of the S-ISCO process and contains an emulsion of creosote DNAPL, oxidant solution and surfactant. The middle vial retrieved at the end of the injection period shows an emulsion that has been partially oxidized. The vial on the far right contains groundwater retrieved after treatment; the emulsified creosote contamination has been destroyed.
At this site S-ISCO effectively ‘polished’ the soil, destroying residual NAPL lingering after an extraction system removed the bulk of NAPL contamination. In general the use of surfactants during chemical oxidation to enhance the contact between oxidants and hydrophobic contamination such as PAHs, TPH or chlorinated solvents is suggested when concentrations exceed 4,000 ppm or there is evidence of residual NAPL contamination.
If you have any questions pertaining to the information in this article please feel free to contact us by clicking to Ask the Author.
The sorption of contaminants to soil minerals and soil organic matter greatly impacts remediation efforts. Tightly sorbed contaminants are not chemically accessible for oxidation treatments or bioavailable for natural attenuation or bioremediation.
Hydrophobic organic contaminants such as PAHs and TPH primarily sorb to soil organic matter (SOM) because SOM is less polar than water and therefore more attractive to these nonpolar contaminant species than surrounding groundwater. Hydrophobic species bond to SOM primarily through van der Waals-type interactions or ‘‘hydrophobic bonding’’. Depending on the size and nature of the hydrophobic contaminant pore size, competitive ‘pore blocking’ with other organic species and π-π interactions may also influence sorption. (ZHIFENG YANG, 2011)
Though the percent of SOM is the most important factor in determining the degree of hydrophobic contaminant sorption other elements of soil composition are important. Soil containing greater ratio of humin to humic acid will sorb more than a soil with equivalent SOM and a lower ratio. Minerals in soil can block absorption sites by attracting polar water molecules or change the shape of the absorption site and limit organic contaminant absorption. (Guangzhi Zhanga, 2012)
Sites with high soil organic matter and hydrophobic contamination are prone to difficulties with chemical oxidation both because dissolved phase contamination will be oxidized before sorbed contamination and soil organic matter will increase oxidant demand. (Ian L. Pepper, 2006)
The most well known example is the hydrophobic pesticide 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(pchlorophenyl)-ethane (DDT) and its metabolites 1,1-dichloro- 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethane (DDD) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(pchlorophenyl)-ethylene (DDE). Despite that fact that DDT is very biodegradable it has persisted in the environment decades after the original releases. DDT has very low solubility in water so a large fraction remains sorbed to soil organic matter or solid material. Surfactants can be used to bring DDT into the aqueous phase and facilitate bioremediation but without such a tool break down is limited. (Glenn W. Walters, 2001)
Polar contaminants such as phenols do not sorb as tightly because they develop a slight negative charge in the aqueous phase and the soil sediments typically also have a slight negative charge. However if site soils are rich in positively charged metal oxides even polar compounds may sorb through electrostatic interactions. (Ian L. Pepper, 2006)
If chemical oxidation is applied at a site with sorbed organic contamination groundwater concentrations of the contaminant will be reduced but over the following months additional contamination will leach from the soil back into the groundwater. This “rebound” leads to multiple expensive injections to maintain low groundwater concentrations. Chemical oxidation can destroy the soil organic matter that binds contamination to the soil and therefore remove desorb some contamination from soils, but this method of desorbing contamination is not very cost effective as it requires oxidant dosing amounts much greater than generally used in remediation.
Surfactants are a more cost effective tool for desorbing contamination. Surfactant mixtures can be used to desorb and solubilize a range of organic contaminants from soil including even highly hydrophobic compounds like PAHs and some pesticides. Once the contamination has been released it can be addressed by several remediation methods including bioremediation, recovery or chemical oxidation. Selecting the right surfactants for desorption is important because the hydrophobic moiety of the surfactant must be matched to the organic contaminant of concern and the surfactant must be evaluated with site soil to ensure it will not sorb to soil and increase oxidant demand.
Combining rigorously screened and tested surfactants with chemical oxidants in the patented process known as Surfactant enhanced In Situ Chemical Oxidation or S-ISCO allows for rapid desorption and destruction of sorbed organic contaminants.
The chart below shows how surfactants can be used to bring PAHs from the soil in the aqueous phase. Without surfactant almost all of the PAH fraction is sorbed to soil, but the VeruSOL surfactants bring PAHs into the aqueous phase where it is available for destruction by chemical oxidants. In this example VeruSOL-10 was selected as the best surfactant to use during S-ISCO application because it desorbed almost all the PAH contamination from the soil. View Case Studies >>
Without the use of surfactant chemical oxidation on sites contaminated with PAHs such as Manufactured Gas Plant sites would impractical due to rebound. By desorbing contamination S-ISCO over comes this difficulty and addresses contamination sorbed to soil and in the groundwater at the same time.
If you have any questions pertaining to the information in this article please feel free to contact us by clicking to Ask the Author.
Glenn W. Walters, M. D. (2001). Surfactant-Enhanced Solubilization and Anaerobic Biodegradation of 1,1,1-Trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethane (DDT) in Contaminated Soil. Water Environment Research , Volume 73, Number 1, pp. 15-23(9).
Guangzhi Zhanga, W. S. (2012). Sorption of phenanthrene on to soil fractions in the presence of Triton X-100. Environmental Technology , Vol. 33, No. 3, 321–327.
Ian L. Pepper, C. P. (2006). Environmental and Pollution Science. London: Elsevier.
ZHIFENG YANG, L. W. (2011). SORPTION MECHANISMS OF COEXISTING PAHS ON SEDIMENT ORGANIC FRACTIONS. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry , Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 576–581,.
Used oil processing is a challenging process that turns used oils to valuable fuels and products.
After lubricating our engines for 3,000 miles, or settling to the bottom of a tanker hold after crossing the ocean, used and salvaged oils can have a second life. Each year 945 million gallons of used oils are either processed into fuels, or re-refined into base oils that can be formulated into used motor oil products. While improperly disposed oil poses a risk to drinking water and wildlife, recycled oil benefits the environment by decreasing domestic energy demand.
Federal regulations and state-run used and waste oil programs have decreased the volume of improperly disposed oil from 426 million gallons in 1996 to 200 million gallons in 2007. The increase in recycling volume is significant because just two gallons of recycled oil can provide 24 hours of electricity for the average US household.
About 200 used oil processors, or reclaimers, treat 750 million gallons of used motor and industrial oil each year. After a basic processing that removes waters and sediments the oils can be burned as fuels or re-refined in a more involved process to produce base oils for automotive use. During the re-refining process water and sediment is separated out, additives and impurities are removed, and new components are added to the oil until it meets API specifications.
Oil water separation is a key step in the used oil recycling process. Used motor oil usually contains between 5 and 7 % water while industrial oils are often recovered as an oily water mixed with cleaning agents. Before either oil can be recycled the oil and water phases need to be separated in a dewatering process. This separation is achieved through mechanical tools like centrifuges and distillers, through physical separation processes that use heat to break the emulsions, and with chemical additives called demulsifiers.
Case Study: VeruTEK Demulsifiers Break Difficult Bunker Oil Emulsion
Image on Left: Untreated emulsions received at a used oil recycling facility over the course of several months
Image on Right: Emulsions after treatment with VeruTEK demulsifiers at 60°C
VeruTEK’s demulsifying agents can increase used oil production turnover by quickly pulling water from used oil at lower temperatures. Field experience has shown these products can break some used oils that could not be broken with legacy products, increasing the amount of oil that can be recovered. VeruTEK will continue to develop and supply high performance chemical solutions to this important industry.
US DOE Report http:///fossil.energy.gov/epact/used_oil_report.pdf
American Petroleum Institute http://www.recycleoil.org/
Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-oil-be-recycled
State of California http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/usedoil/facts.htm
National Geographic http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/recycling-waste-oil-2923.html
Naturally derived surfactants designed to release water or oil from either natural or processed oil emulsions have demonstrated an outstanding performance compared to synthetic alternatives. This approach to oil water separation achieves
- Breaks in emulsions that could not be treated with existing products
- Treatment at lower temperatures
- Oil with less water
- A cleaner water phase
- Performance under a range of brine concentrations
The key to the demulsifier performance is optimizing the match between of the degree of hydrophobicity of the demulsifier to the specific water in oil (W/O) emulsions. Matching the hydrophobicity maximizes desorption of interfacially adsorbed water resulting in rapid and effective water separation from the oil.
Used oil in the process of being treated with VeruTEK's AFX Demulsifier
The goal of breaking the emulsions is to produce oil with a minimum water content, increasing the use and economic value of the oil. Additionally, producing a water phase with minimum oil and grease content decreases the complexity and costs associated with water treatment and/or reuse.
Crude oil produced in the field contains varying amounts of water and solids, generally referred to a Basic Sediment and Water (BS&W), as well as naturally occurring surface active agents. Crude oil and refined petroleum product residuals generated from ship and tank cleaning, as well as oil spill clean-up residuals also contain concentrations of water and industrial surfactants.
The presence of both natural surface active agents and industrial surfactants in crude and recovered oil results in water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions that trap water inside a micelle, making separation of water from the oil difficult. Clays, waxes, asphaletenes additionally act to create stable W/O emulsions. These interfacially active agents generally accumulate at the oil-water interface, hindering the separation of water droplets from the oil by forming stable films around the water droplets, inhibiting coalescence of the water droplets. To destabilize W/O emulsions it is necessary to destabilize the interfacial films between the water droplet and oil, increasing the rate of water coalescence and more effective gravitational separation of water and oil phases.
The nature of the naturally occurring surface active agents and the oil itself, as well as the brine content of the water are key factors affecting the stability of the W/O emulsions. These characteristics also determine how difficult it may be to destabilize the emulsion and to produce the maximum amount of water in a recovered separate phase. Strategies such as heating, changing the brine content and adding a demulsifying agent are typically employed to break the W/O emulsion, remove as much water from the oil as possible and produce a low water content oil.
VeruTEK’s AFX demulsifier series, use the new approach of using naturally derived chemicals to overcome barriers to fast oil water separation, delivering results for clients in the oil production and used oil recycling industries.
VeruTEK recently announced a joint marketing agreement with SEMJET, a provider of a unique, proprietary range of mechanical technologies for improving oil field productivity. The combined technologies provide a unique opportunity to substantially increase oil well productivity using VeruJET, a chemical blend optimized for jetting. The agreement extends both companies into a newly created market; high-performance fluids for jetting and stimulation.
SEMJET evaluated a range of products to identify the optimal fluid to use with its new Multi Lateral Jetting technology. The evaluation identified VeruTEK’s VeruJET fluid as the best overall product given its ability to work with SEMJET technology to deliver increased performance via extended reach and reservoir access.
This joint marketing agreement enables SEMJET and their domestic and international licensees to use VeruJET fluids in their commercial operations. It also provides the opportunity for SEMJET to sell VeruTEK fluids to jetting companies who currently employ legacy radial jetting technologies. While SEMJET Multi Lateral Jetting is unique in providing increased access to a reservoir from any existing wellbore at a true 90° angle to the casing, all jetting implementations will benefit from the extended stimulation reach and clean flow pathways provided by VeruJET fluids.
SEMJET’s field experience with VeruJET fluids indicates that all jetting implementations can experience increased productivity from the use of VeruJET chemistries optimized for jetting. To date, more than 1,000 jetting operations have been performed globally by specialized jetting companies including SEMJET.
“The basis for these synergies is VeruJET fluids prevent sidewall damage typically seen when using water only or acids as the jetting fluid,” stated Jeff Ayers, VeruTEK VP for Solutions Development.
Dale Joseph, Senior Vice President, SEMJET International, said, “After seeing the dramatic performance improvements VeruJET fluids brought to our own jetting implementations, we realized that working together, SEMJET and VeruTEK created a compelling value proposition for the marketplace. While we would like producers to consider SEMJET Multi Lateral Jetting services, we realize many have existing jetting relationships. We are pleased to work with other jetting firms to increase the productivity of oil fields through use of SEMJET’s tools and process, of which VeruJET fluids play an important role."
We are very excited to expand the scope of our EOR business by launching our new line of VeruJET fluids. These specialty chemicals target a full range of legacy jetting technologies currently in use in the broader jetting market. SEMJET is an excellent partner and we are very pleased to team with them to serve this fast growing new market.
Meredith Lanoue, a Project Engineer for VeruTEK Technologies sent us this update from Down-Under where she was a delegate and presenter at Ecoforum 2012, in Sydney Australia. Meredith designs, analyzes and reports on applications of VeruTEK’s patented, forefront technology, Surfactant-enhanced In Situ Chemical Oxidation (S-ISCO), and has led VeruTEK’s planning and design for its application in an upcoming remediation project in Sydney. She joined hundreds of industry experts for three days filled with outstanding keynote speakers, discussion forums with industry leaders, technology updates and even a few tours of sustainable projects going on in Sydney.
"Ecoforum is a great opportunity for us to share the amazing and exciting things that VeruTEK has been up to! VeruTEK has had a strong presence at Ecoforum over the past several years and the company’s name and reputation definitely preceded me. In the poster session, we showcased our Green-synthesized Nanoscale Iron Activator (GnA)—including it’s Green Chemistry synthesis process and its remarkable efficiency for oxidant activation. Our second poster presented our Surfactant Enhanced Product Recovery (SEPR™) technology and its recent success in remediating creosote DNAPL at an EPA Superfund Site. During the Gasworks Remediation session, I presented the New York City brownfield project on which VeruTEK’s S-ISCO chemistry and process was the key technology used to achieve a Certificate of Completion. This case study is hot off the presses! Source destruction, technology fusion – Pressure Pulse and RemMetrik (a patent-pending contamination identification and targeting process), community safety, cost effectiveness, a reduced environmental footprint and a nod from the New York State DEP—what more can you ask for? It was such a privilege to present on behalf of our treatment team—VeruTEK and Fleming Lee-Shue.
Finally, VeruTEK sponsored the ISCO Case Studies session and I not only got to play hostess to the international line-up of experts sharing their experiences and research, but also had another opportunity to talk even more about S-ISCO and our recent successes treating coal tar and chlorinated DNAPL."
Day 2 and 3
Day 2- So apparently Sydney is in the midst of a flood. The rain was deluging as we made our way to Technology Park-- the conference venue which is a repurposed locomotive depot-- so cool. A perfect day to be inside at the conference.
Without the pressure of preparing, presenting and hosting, I enjoyed being a delegate-- attending presentations, checking out the vendors' booths in the exhibition hall, helping out at our Australian partner, ERR's, booth and networking with current and potential business. I particularly enjoyed the series of presentations on LNAPL, as well as the those focusing on waste management and sustainable development. It was very exciting to connect with current and potential partners who will support our work in Australia, including suppliers of monitoring services and equipment, and chemistry. The day concluded with a delightful "Ecoforum Dinner", complete with entertainment from opera-singing waiters.
With the bright autumn sun beaming, I headed about an hour out of Sydney Center to visit Sydney Water Corporation's innovative & state-of-the-art waste-water treatment and cogeneration power plant. On a side note: about Sydney traffic-- it is terrible! While there don't even seem to be that many cars on the road, there must be stop lights every 50 feet- which is miserable for both pedestrians and cars. No matter what time of day, you just don't move! Which is so frustrating to me but no one here seems to be in much of a hurry....I digress....
We had a wonderful introduction to the plant, its history, the magnitude of its catchment area, and then began a tour: we descended 60 m underground to the network of tunnels where the wastewater travels, and saw a one-of-a-kind hydraulically powered turbine. We emerged to tour the sludge settling beds, and the sludge digestors which produce methane that is harvested to power operations at the plant.
VIEW FULL CASE STUDY>>
BLOOMFIELD, CT. February 21, 2012. VeruTEK Technologies, Inc. (VTKT), a provider of patented Green Chemistry technologies for environmental remediation and enhanced oil recovery, announced today a Certificate of Completion (COC) has been issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for the successful cleanup of a New York City brownfield.
The site, located along the East River in Hunters Point, Queens, NY will be redeveloped for a new branch of the Queens Public Library and a New York State Parks ranger station. VeruTEK successfully implemented its patented Surfactant-enhanced In Situ Chemical Oxidation (S-ISCO) technology at this former industrial site to remediate contamination from coal tar repurposed from Manufactured Gas Plants (MGPs) for use in the production of roofing products.
This S-ISCO remediation marks the first time a Green Chemistry solution of this kind has been used to remediate MGP-related contamination in New York City and sets a precedent for the use of innovative technologies to achieve a COC within the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.
S-ISCO provided a low-impact solution that benefits the health and safety of the community and environment. Specifically VeruTEK’s innovative treatment:
Destroyed contamination in place, avoiding digging and hauling thousands of truck-loads of contaminated soil through the community while preserving the stability of the subsurface and high-rise buildings on adjacent parcels;
Prevented surrounding businesses and residents from being exposed to dust and emissions related to large scale excavation, and also reduced soil gas contamination;
Took place during a short time frame (five months), without disturbing the community; and
Provided a permanent solution to site contamination, preparing the site for safe and productive reuse.
Arana Hankin, President of Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), the New York State public authority responsible for the development of the Queens West project, said, “Issuance of a Certificate of Completion for this brownfield site is an exciting milestone in the redevelopment of Queens waterfront property. We look forward to beginning the next phase of redevelopment, construction by the City of New York of a state-of-the art public library on the site, which was cleaned up with virtually no disruption to the community.”
At this urban site, VeruTEK conducted S-ISCO injections to treat more than 50,000 pounds of coal tar contamination in the soil by destroying in-situ (in place underground) over 90% of the combined polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and BTEX compounds, including 95% of the naphthalene. VeruTEK’s novel S-ISCO technology combines patented plant-based surfactant and co-solvent mixtures (VeruSOL) with free-radical oxidant systems to safely release (desorb) and destroy recalcitrant contaminants from the soil. VeruTEK’s S-ISCO technology destroyed the primary source of contamination, yielding a permanent solution for the site.
VeruTEK’s S-ISCO technology was selected by Fleming Lee Shue, a New York City based environmental management and consulting company which was commissioned to design and manage the cleanup effort by QWDC and a leading national developer and manager of high quality apartment communities. The S-ISCO treatment was augmented by Wavefront Technology Solutions US Inc’s (Wavefront) Primawave pressure-pulsing technology, as well as the RemMetrikSM process to quantify subsurface contamination, optimize its treatment and measure effectiveness.
Arnold Fleming, President of Fleming Lee Shue, added, “Our firm identifies and commissions innovative technologies which deliver cost effective and thorough environmental cleanup. We were very impressed with the results of VeruTEK’s S-ISCO technology implementation. Compared to full-scale excavations conducted on similar nearby sites, VeruTEK’s remedy not only reduced the project cost by over $5 million dollars but also avoided the release of dust and odor, prevented disruption to the community, and reduced the carbon footprint of the clean-up. The project was done cost effectively, completed on-time, under-budget and resulted in a Certificate of Completion.”
Dan Socci, VeruTEK’s CEO, praised the work of the combined Fleming Lee Shue and VeruTEK team that designed and implemented the S-ISCO remedy, as well as the results achieved, stating, “We are proud of the outcome of this project and had a very positive experience collaborating with Fleming Lee Shue. We look forward to repeating this project’s success and bringing a safe, effective and environmentally preferable solution to other brownfield sites, enabling their return to productive use.”
VeruTEK has successfully implemented S-ISCO at locations worldwide to treat former MGP sites, chlorinated solvents contamination—including industrial cleaning and dry cleaning chemicals, home heating oil spills, and gasoline station tank leaks. The successful destruction of MGP-related coal tar at the Hunters Point brownfield site in Queens, adjacent to the East River and in a densely developed urban setting, demonstrates the ability of S-ISCO to achieve contaminant source destruction in-situ quickly and safely for the benefit of the community and the environment.
New remediation technologies make Superfund Site Cleanup cost-effective, fast, and feasible.
With the new year underway, as CEO of VeruTEK, I felt there was no better time for my inaugural blog. In addition, recent events in the field of environmental remediation, particularly brownfield clean up and development, provide further motivation for this discussion. At VeruTEK, I have the privilege of working with a talented team of professionals who developed one of the exciting new environmental cleanup chemistry technologies available in the industry today. We were very pleased with the recent announcement in New York of a U.S. Court of Appeals 5-2 decision to enforce a state Department of Environmental Conservation regulation to require environmental clean up to “pre-disposal conditions to the extent feasible.” This is in contrast to an opposing view that only “significant threats” need to be addressed.
While this court decision is a victory for communities in their efforts to require property owners to clean up toxic sites, Thomas Walsh, the lawyer for the companies, grouped under the name New York State Superfund Coalition, claimed a partial victory, saying the court left no doubt that “cost-effectiveness” should be a factor in deciding the thoroughness of cleanups.
Cost-Effective Technologies for Superfund Site Cleanup
Walsh’s reference to cost-effectiveness as a determining factor in the decision-making process opens the door for broader acceptance of new technologies in the remediation industry. As property owners are motivated, or obligated, to take more thorough cleanup action, they will be receptive to alternative technologies that are proven to be more cost effective, as well as environmentally friendly.
VeruTEK has successfully remediated multiple brownfield sites in the Northeast using its patented S-ISCO technology to achieve outstanding results in providing permanent destruction of contaminants and converting the sites to valuable development assets.
We applaud the U.S. Court of appeals decision and hope there is additional similar regulatory action to promote brownfield clean up and the expanded use of new, green remediation technologies.